tv [untitled] April 18, 2012 3:30am-4:00am EDT
next year to have a flat line on these charts to the left. thank you. >> thank you very much. then we have congressman paul brown, who on the vote ratings of the council for citizens against government waste, has had 100% three years in a row with taxpayer superhero and obviously opposes earmarks. >> i've been around politics for a long time. this is the smallest pig book that i've seen. in hosea 6 god says my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. and tom and the citizens against government waste are informing the american public about how their elected representatives are wasting their money. i've got four questions i ask myself about all legislation. the first one is is it right? does it fit the judeo-christian biblical principles that the nation was founded upon? the second question is is it constitutional according to the original intent? third, do we need it? and fourth, can we afford it? it makes my voting a whole lot easier by going through those
four questions. and tom, i wish all members of congress would use those same questions. and then we wouldn't be here talking about earmarks because most of the spending in the federal government is unconstitutional, according to its original intent. you see, the only way we're going to stop this earmarking process and have a permanent ban is for the american citizens to demand a different kind of governance. i mentioned hosea 4:6, my people were destroyed for lack of knowledge. and tom and citizens against government waste are informing people about that wasteful spending. and those people all across this nation are the reason that we have a small pig book today. i want to remind you about former u.s. senator eric derekson one time said when he feels the heat he sees the light. there are many members of the senate and the house that need to feel the heat and see the light. there are some of those people that need to see the door.
these earmarking processes have caused more people to go to jail than anything else. and i congratulate citizens against government waste and their fight to end this earmarking process. and let's go back to constitutional limit of government. and american citizens demanding constitutionally limited government as our founding fathers meant it for us to shrink the size of government, for us to go forward so that we are financially viable as a country. so it's going to be absolutely critical for the american people to demand a stop to the earmarking process, to pass the toomey-flake bill, as well as stop the outrageous spending that's going on here in washington. i congratulate the citizens against government waste. i congratulate tom and the hard work that he's done since 1991. keep up the great work, tom. >> thank you, congressman. and thank you every member, thank you all for joining us today. and before we take questions, i
want to point out and thank shawn kennedy, our manager of research, luke elber, media policy associate, for putting together this really easy -- this really great pig book. and also -- who's brought along bubbles and churchill from the pet placement network of new jersey. we used to have local pigs, and now we have to go out of state. but that's okay. they're legal to cross state lines. and we really, really appreciate them joining us as well. with that i am happy to take questions and the members as well if you have any questions for them. yes, sir. >> i guess the question that i have -- >> i'm sorry. excuse me. can you wait for the mike? sorry about that. >> yeah. you've got this big transportation bill on the floor. it's having a hard time moving through. the states cannot handle federal transportation -- national transportation costs by themselves. it has to be federal money that does it. is it the earmarks that is --
you object to the fact that they've sort of stuck in slyly and in secret or is it just the objection to spending and if it's the slyness and the secrecy does that mean that there's some way that this could be done that you guys would be happy with to get stuff moving through congress? >> historically, 1916, first federal aid highway mark, no earmarks. 1956, interstate transportation act, two specific items mentioned in the bill. president reagan vetoed a bill in 1987 that had $1.1 billion in earmarks. and president bush signed a bill that had $24 billion in earmarks. so yes, it can be done. maybe we have to go back almost 100 years to look at the original idea, which was to simply base it on formulas that congress has adopted. if the members don't like the formula, they can change the formula. but the bridge to nowhere was in the last highway bill. it was clearly a boondoggle
among many others. not only do these projects make it more difficult to get -- to achieve the goals of the transportation departments. but the money for transportation starts from the bottom up. metropolitan planning organization to the county, to the state. our view would be that you devolve the money back to the states and let them make these decisions rather than having the money flow up, get sloshed around at the d.o.t. here in washington and come back down. any members want to comment on that as well? >> in fact, congressman tom grace from georgia has a def loougs amendment to the transportation bill. hopefully we'll have the opportunity to vote on it. there's plenty of money. the states can run it with the excise tax with fuel if we just send it back to the states. and that's what a number of us are fighting to try to do. to send those powers back to the states and the people as a 10th amendment says that they should be. and then we won't have the earmarking process. >> part of the problem with the
highway bill over time is that as earmarks have increased so has the amount of money that's diverted from the real priorities that we have, particularly roads and bridges, and going to museums or bike paths or something on the periphery, parks. and the end of earmarks also means states who have been treated so shably in terms of the formula will finally have the opportunity to get more of their formula funding, more of their funding back. arizona has never done better in the past couple of decades than 91 cents on the dollar. now without earmarks the senate bill starts arizona and all states at 95 cents on the dollar. so it's a good thing. and as senator mccain mentioned, is that those who are pushing the bill conceded it's tougher to move it without earmarks. it should be. and the chairman of the committee actually said now we have to focus on policy. and that's a good thing.
so -- >> and let me add to the transportation question. in september 2007 senator coburn was given a report from the inspector general at the department of transportation, which discussed the impact of earmarks on higher priorities at the department of transportation. one result of which was the faa high priority tower replacement program was three years behind because of earmarks. so there may be some fear of flying generally. i'm sure everything's fine. but it was a perfect example of what happens when these earmarks interfere with the plans that have been made at the agencies and at the state and local level. yes, sir. if you'd wait for the mike, please. >> i'm wondering with the ban on earmarks how are some lawmakers and groups still finding success in getting these kinds of projects funded? how are they still able to do
that? >> well, again, these are kind of broad additions to the president's budget. so rather than having the names of the members identified with the project, they added the $50 million for the counterdrug program. the real question now is the transparency after the fact. if all of that money gets spent competitively, then maybe this moratorium has been adhered to. the problem is that no one knows what's going on at the agency level. are phone calls being made? text messages, which are certainly difficult to find. these contacts should be immediately released by the agencies. they really don't like these earmarks either. i think the vast majority, i presume pretty much all the people at the federal agencies are happy that they don't have to answer these phone calls or follow these provisions that in the past have had nothing to do with their daily activities. they also never received overhead to cover the cost of monitoring and spending money on these earmarks.
so the east-west center's a good example. the house in fact voted in the state department authorization bill to eliminate funding for the east-west center. so there is an effort all around to get rid of even the smaller and less expensive earmarks, and we think that will hopefully continue. but again, to answer your question a little more specifically, since there are no names attached to them, we're not exactly sure who has asked for them other than the most obvious. and the fact that 77% of the earmarks that we can identify as originating in the house or senate came from the senate indicates nthat the senate is again pushing these through. we'd like to see the permanent ban, and then hopefully we won't have to do this anymore. any other questions? well, thank you all very much again. thank you again for joining us. and thanks to the members. >> great jobs, guys. >> thank you very much. really appreciate it. that was great stuff. thank you. >> it will be another fight to --
>> absolutely. congress continues its investigation of waste and mismanagement at the general services administration. tomorrow the senate environment and public works committee will hear from the inspector general for gsa and the acting administrator. live coverage at 10:00 eastern here on c-span 3. later in the day the senate budget committee chaired by senator kent conrad will begin work on the 2013 budget. live coverage of the markup begins at 2:00 p.m. eastern, also on c-span 3. this week actor alec baldwin is on capitol hill asking members of congress for more funding for the arts. that's next on c-span 3.
then a conversation on u.s. dependence on foreign oil. later a panel discussion with business leaders on ways to increase u.s. exports. from the colonial era, prohibition, to today. drinking for better or worse has always been a part of the american landscape. saturday night live on american history tv a history of alcohol in america. watch our simulcast of "backstory" with the american history guys. host ed ayers, peter onoff and edward gallo regale with tales of spirits in america. part of american history tv this weekend on c-span 3. actor alec baldwin is in washington, d.c. this week promoting federal funding for arts and education programs. he spoke at the national press club monday and took questions from the audience.
>> good afternoon and welcome to the national press club. my name is theresa warner and i'm the 105th president of the national press club. we are the world's leading professional organizations for journalists, committed to our profession's future through our programming while fostering a free press worldwide. for more information about the national press club please visit our website at www.press.org. to donate to our programs offered to the public through our national press club journalism institute please visit www.press.org/institute. on behalf of our members worldwide i'd like to welcome our speaker and those of you
attending today's event. our head table includes guests of our speaker as well as working journalists who are club members. and if you hear applause from our audience, we'd note that members of the general public are attending. so it isn't necessarily a lack of journalistic objectivity. i'd also like to welcome our c-span audience and our public radio audiences. our luncheons are also featured on our member-produced weekly podcast from the national press club available on itunes. you can follow the action on twitter using #npclunch. after our guest's speech concludes we'll have a question and answer segment and i will answer -- i will ask as many questions as time permits. now it's time to introduce our head table guest. and i'd ask each one of you to stand up briefly as your name is announced. from your right, kate michael, k street kate. naya hawkins, associated press. todd purdham, "vanity fair."
mary milken, reuters. monica hopkins, el dorado pictures. nora halpern, americans for the arts. allison fitzgerald, freelance journal and speaker committee chair. i'm going to skip our speaker for just a moment. robert cardon, cardon communications and speakers committee member who organized this luncheon. nina oslew tangelli, american for the arts. mark winow, kiplinger's. nicki schwab, washington examiner, yeas and nays columnist. bob madigan, wtop. pam stevens, msnbc. [ applause ] our guest today is an award-winning actor, producer, director, and author. he has starred on the big screen, on television, and on broadway. alec baldwin has won two emmy
awards and a number of screen actor guild awards for playing the self-absorbed jack donaghy on the hit television show "30 rock." he has hosted "saturday night live" a record 16 times and is a well-known frequent flyer and american airlines fan. a native of long island, mr. baldwin began his career in soap operas in the early 1980s before moving on to broadway and films. his most notable films include "the hunt for red october," "the aviator," "pearl harbor," and "it's complicated." mr. baldwin is a member of the americans for the arts artists committee and serves as the 25th annual nancy hanks lecturer on arts and public policy. he is in washington this week working with the committee. he is also a board member of the people for the american way and a strong supporter of the animal rights group peta. mr. baldwin lives in new york city, has one daughter, and is recently engaged.
mr. baldwin can now add national press club luncheon speaker to that weighty list of accomplishments. mr. baldwin is also a well-known political activist. perhaps that comes from spending some of his college years right here at george washington university. mr. baldwin has been mentioned as a candidate for public office. this might be the right place to make that announcement. mr. baldwin? [ applause ] >> how are you? thank you very much to theresa werner and to everyone from the national press club and to all of you for having me here as your guest. and also to thank bob lynch and nina oslew and everyone on the staff of americans for the arts because i am here once again as their guest for the arts advocacy day work that's being done on capitol hill. and tonight is the lecture, the nancy hanks lecture.
and the dinner to follow. i started coming -- before we get to that, actually, let's talk about american airlines and words with friends. because i know that's precisely what you want to talk about. because it's not lost on me that while i was being admonished for using my phone while we were parked at the gate i think someone dish think some dear friend of mine, some colleague of yours from fox news who i'm deeply, deeply, boundlessly admiring of, mentioned that i was using my phone while we were actually on the runway about to take off and they had to taxi back, which is not true. but while was in the plane and we were parked at the gate and i was using my phone, and then i was asked to leave the plane, i want to just tell you this. it was this amazing moment because it seemed like a scene from a really smart movie, like a michael mann movie where you'd expect really smart writing and great acting, but not like some
crazy hyped-up tv show. it was a really wonderful moment where there were -- i had said -- i registered a very loud complaint about this woman who i thought had singled me out. and then a very young asian-american woman who was actually this breathtakingly beautiful woman and very serene, i'm sitting on the plane and she walked up to me and said, "mr. baldwin, would you gather your things and come with me, please?" and i just had this kind of narcotic effect on me. she just spoke very quietly and very calmly. and they threw me off the plane. mr. baldwin, would you kindly collect your things, please, and come with me? but as all this is happening, there were probably about seven or eight people who had their cell phones out and they were tweeting about it at the time that it was happening. i want to thank all the people out there on twitter who happened to make note of the fact that there were a lot of people in the first-class cabin of the plane who were on twitter at that very moment that i was
being kicked off for using my phone. they were tweeting about it. not my -- not my day. bad luck for me that day. but that's okay. i'm here as the guest of americans for the arts. and you know, i've been coming down here since 1990. the origin of this work for me was with the creative coalition that was formed by michael fuchs, the former head of hbo. fuchs, who wanted to bring together a bunch of entertainment industry professionals, producers, writers, directors, and actors to kind of focus their work and their advocacy on public policy. comped for them their office space there at the hbo building across from bryant park back then. hbo is still there, but i don't think tcc is anymore. and fuchs gave them office space and gave them a budget, a modest budget of staff.
a person from hbo got them started. then they went out and raised money. and the name of the game back then was for us to learn more about how to effectively advocate for our issue, whether it be in albany or here in washington. and ron silver -- it's sad when i look at the photograph. and nina can confirm this. there's a photograph of us together in one of our early trips. steve collins and i, susan sarandon, chris, michael benehum, and ron silver. half the people in the photograph are gone, they passed away, very tragically. but silver was someone who was a great mentor for me in the advocacy world. i remember sitting me down on a train coming down here and talked very, very succinctly and very effectively about cover and you're going to say this and they're going to say this and anticipating their answer and here's your battery of answers you're going to have and facts and statements to help substantiate what we want to do, the issues were gun control,
reproductive rights, the environment, federal funding for the arts, and so forth. and we would come down here, and i've come down here intermittently since then, to speak to members of congress, a, to thank our supporters, both republican and democrat, in both the house and the senate who've worked to gain federal funding for the arts, and to not admonish -- i mean, that's something i might have done five or ten years ago now, but to -- or shame, if you will. it's more to encourage, to try to cajole some of our opponents who still don't believe that there's a role for the federal government in funding the arts. and i don't mean that in terms of individual grants. as many of you know, the n.e.a. is out of the individual grant business as a result of some of the -- i would imagine as a result of some of the controversies in the past. when i first started doing this kind of work, it was the days of karen finley and serrano and
piss christ and mapplethorpe and a lot of people jumping up and down and screaming during the early clinton years. we wound up getting an appropriation in '94 i guess when gingrich and that crowd took over. my dear friend liz robbins helped us to -- to term what they called the corn for porn swap. some deal was made with conservative republicans in the house to get some kind of an agricultural subsidy which allowed them to back off and support federal funding of the arts at a certain price. and that back room deal between the n.e.a. and the agriculture subsidy became known as the corn for porn swap in the days of mapplethorpe. since then on a variety of levels. the government is out of the individual grant business, the
amount of money dropped precipitously for a while and has come back up. however, i think the numbers are still problematic as far as i'm concerned. you have an appropriation for the nea now at about $147 million. the appropriation when i first started coming down here, the statistics i had available online were for 1992 which was $175 million. the internet which never ceases to amaze me. took me quickly to a site where you could do the -- the index to adjust for inflation. so i programmed it $175 million, which today would be like $248 million. if $175 million in '92 would actually be $248 million today and we're at $147 million, we're just around between $90 million and $100 million less. make no mistake, we are right now $90 million to $100 million
less in federal subsidies for the arts in a country that has grown to 320 million people, let's say roughly. at least the ones we can count these days. at least the ones we bother counting in the country these days. and the -- i'm someone who has said on the record that i think the arts are beyond essential. everywhere i go, i just got back from rome, and everywhere i go, i see that dichotomy. i see that strange dissidence. and you go there and you see that we have what they don't have, the american economy is still a strong economy. when we balance our debts and pay our bills. the american economy is still a great economy and still a strong economy. when we falter, it's because we don't get it right in terms of balancing our budgets and our priorities and that's a different conversation. but the -- when you go to italy and they have -- they have a
weak economy, but they have an artistic heritage that puts us to shame. you go to paris, you go to london, even when you're in new york and this city, as well. tonight when i give these remarks, i talk about the artistic heritage of the country being embodied in this city like no other city in this country. i included in the remarks i make today, i say, nothing makes you love this country more, which kind of chokes me up actually. nothing makes you love this country more than when you come to washington. and it has nothing to do with the rhetoric of any one of these people that exists on the hill today, none of them, republican or democrat. the rhetoric of political leadership in this country is irrelevant in terms of creating real love for this country. it only creates disgust and disdain and disappointment and heart break. and if you walk around washington, d.c., the great, great architectural, the great, great artistic heritage of our country of our country is
embodied in this town, in this town, in this great, great city where i went to college for three years. and my comments i say that. i say it's so funny i live in new york. and years ago i used to live in washington and i'd go to new york. and in washington, took the course of d.c. politics and culture, learned kennedy's great line. southern efficiency and northern hospitality. jfk's great quote about washington. and i remember -- i lived in the old d.c., 1976 i came down here, back when they were burning in effigy. now, if you lit a match in lafayette park, you'd get shot by probably six or seven different snipers in different aspects all over that area in different areas of the white house. they've shut down pennsylvania avenue since i was here. i remember it was odd to me to
be in union station. i remember when i went to school here, you would -- i didn't have the money to fly and it wasn't convenient. and they used to have a train you could take. the last train was at 9:30, and it was a local. it stopped in delaware, stopped in new jersey. you'd swear it was stopping in st. louis too it took so long. this train was the slowest train you've ever been on in your entire lifetime. and we would go to new york, it was like $18, it was 36 bucks round trip to go on this train. and you'd leave union station and sometimes i'd get a ride there, whatever i wanted to get there early. if i missed that train, i was dead. i get there early, you'd sit at union station, the great, great union station at washington, d.c. and then go on from there to new york. sophisticated, glamorous, wealthy, cosmopolitan new york and go to that godforsaken sink hole penn station. one of the great train stations to probably the worst train station in this country.
to the worst. the worst. that was erected on the grounds, once been a great train station as many people here know. the old mckim, meade, and white structure, the old penn station torn down. controversy around the world. from all corners of the world. which gives birth to the historical preservation law of new york. but you're in new york, there's a lot of great architecture in new york, not like washington. a lot of great architecture. and art in new york. much of the art, of course, that's not in public spaces and architecture. behind a door that you've got to pay a fee to access, you know. great art in london, spain, all over europe, rome is singular to me. i just got back from rome. the city itself is a work of
art. you are inside a work of art that is the expanse of an entire city. you know, and i think that in this country, when you're over there, you see they've got t the -- i only have glib words for you today, but they have the art thing down. they're spending a lot of money over there. and they're getting a lot of tourists over there. they're getting a lot of our money over there over the last many years because they have preserved that heritage and they've made art count. they've raised their children to believe that art counts. it's part of their culture and part of their heritage. and coming over here and we have what they don't have. we have the potential and typically -- we have a great humming, hissing, steaming, 12-cylinder economy here. and we don't get the art thing right all the time. i think we send the wrong signal here. we say art isn't important enough for the government to spend money on. you don't need to spend on what i'd spend on. i'd spend $1 billion on each. i'd spend a lot of money